Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bear With Me

Oh, my. It has been a while, has it not, Sandy? Life and driving has kept us quite busy lately, and so this blog post here will serve as a randomization of recent happenings, in no particular order. Enjoy!

1. We had a great hometime about a week and a half ago, probably one of the best on record so far. We ended up having 6 days off (due to slow loads moving when we returned to the truck), which were filled with cooking, baking, hosting our friends AJ, Sarah and their little one Gabriella (West Coast Steins) while AJ cycled in the Tour Des Chutes 100 mile ride, hiking, soaking in hot springs, going to church and spending one-on-one with JC in adoration, more cooking and baking, and seeing our other friends in town. The weather did not cooperate much, but still, what a delight!

2. Last month we were out on the road for 30 days and logged over 25,000 miles. That's a great month! We're on track to have our next loan paid down by Labor Day (and likely before!).

3. We delivered a load into the side of the earth...a former government complex that was carved from limestone is now a regular "hub" for small business and logistics; we drove our truck and trailer into the side of a hill and underground, dodging limestone pillars for a mile in and out. Boeing was a cool drop, but I think this delivery point beats it!

4. Leaving hometime set us on a track from Bend to San Francisco to Phoenix to Memphis to Miami to Atlanta, where we now sit as our truck is in the shop. We were slated to head towards New Jersey, but as we got ready to leave this morning, our engine started knocking really loud. Who knows how long it will take? But--all that travel? We did it in 5 days. Not bad for the first week out!!

5. As mentioned in #1, I am really enjoying cooking and baking every time we come home. This month's experiments included a grilled flat iron steak with blue cheese butter topping, turkey lentil chili, a delectable strawberry cake covered in whipped cream white chocolate frosting (so good we had to make it twice!), and German chocolate cake (definitely easier to make the second time around, but still labor intensive). I've also recently discovered a show that I enjoy listening to on Martha Stewart Living Radio: Everyday Food with Sandy Gluck. She gives some great basic advice for cooking and baking and experiments with making different things in her test kitchen, airing it on the show. I'm learning a lot and can't wait to put these tips into practice! I'm perusing different foodie blogs too to pick up new tricks and recipes. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

6. We've moved on from our last set of acadamia in transit; now we are onto lectures about Pope Benedict VI (guest lectures at Christendom University), Christian Spirituality (Dr. Mark Miravalle from Franciscan University), and of course Ben's philosophy courses. I have an aim to read Louis Bouyer's book, "Eucharist" by the time we return to Bend in September. His 20 years of research culminating in this work is fascinating, intriguing, and deeply theological. I read just the first 1/4 or so of it a few years ago in preparation for a diocesan event for youth. It made quite an impression on me and I intend to read the rest!

7. Ben is finally done with his thesis! The last part is coming up in just 2 weeks: he will be defending it in front of three philosophy professors back at Franciscan University in Steubenville. We will be spending our August hometime then in Ohio, completing this last task for his Master's degree, as well as visiting with friends and family in the area. This thesis is 5 years in the making, and finally 99.9% there. Please remember him in your prayers on Thursday, August 11 at 10:30am. Thanks!

8. I lost another 4 pounds!

9. I can't think of anything else at the moment, so...until next time!

God bless you!